The First Avenger: Captain America is one of the four big budget summer blockbusters on Marvel’s official slate of upcoming films. Along with the Iron Man franchise, The Incredible Hulk and Thor, Captain America is getting his own origin film to establish his character in Marvel movie continuity all culminating to the main event: The Avengers.
It’s fantastic timing for Marvel to be doing this with their own fast-growing studio during the era of comic book films, but for Captain America, the timing seemed a little off in terms of lining up with the comics since the character the movie is based on is dead – and has been for over two years.
Well, that’s not going to be the case for long and it’s no coincidence in timing.
Captain America originated back in the 1940s and since that time, he’s been portrayed mainly by the character of Steve Rogers. At least, up until March of 2007 when writer Ed Brubaker had him assassinated in Captain America #25 (Volume 5) at the conclusion of the major Marvel crossover event, Civil War. The Civil War saga saw all the heroes and villains of the Marvel universe pick one of two sides: With the government and their Superhuman Registration Act lead by Tony Stark (Iron Man) or with Captain America’s freedom fighters who fought against it.
Killing off the character was a successful plan by the writers, looking back and seeing how much coverage it was given by mainstream media. Now they’re attempting to do that again by doing the opposite and likely bringing Steve Rogers back from the dead. Of course, he wasn’t going to be dead forever, or even for a long time for that matter – it’s surprising his “death” lasted as long as it did (far longer than Superman‘s death following the Doomsday storyline). When you think about it, they need to capitalize on the timing with the major blockbuster Marvel films that will feature the star-spangled Hero.
According to several reports and plenty of online buzz, Captain America #600 (which officially comes out tomorrow, June 17th), sets up the return of Steve Rogers. Since Rogers’ death, his friend Bucky Barnes has taken up the mantle and sported the new Captain America suit. What will happen with Steve coming back? Will there be two Captain Americas or will Bucky step down… or something else?
Bucky’s Cap outfit by Alex Ross [click to enlarge]
On July 1st, the five-issue mini-series Captain America: Reborn begins which will truly see the return of Steve Rogers and according to Bleeding Cool, comic retailers everywhere have apparently been encouraged to stock up on these issues and given incentives to do so in order to tie in to some “major Marvel news.”
Captain America #600 cover by Steve Epting [click to enlarge]
Is that news just the return of Steve Rogers? I expect it’s more than that. Perhaps some major casting announcements for the film?.. Which brings me to the real point of this article.
The Captain America origin film is set to debut along with Thor in the summer of 2011. They debut approximately two months apart with Thor kicking off the summer in early May and Cap opening up in late July.
If they want to make that opening (please don’t let this be delayed!), they’ll need to start shooting not long after Thor which begins principal photography in January. This means that they’ll need to start making some casting decisions sooner rather than later. Thor has been at the forefront of the news from Marvel Studios recently, overshadowing the production updates of Iron Man 2 with its recent onslaught of casting announcements.
So far, we’ve seen Chris Hemsworth join the cast as The Mighty Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. In addition to that, we’ve heard rumors that Brian Blessed may be up for the role of Odin and Natalie Portman as on of the lead female characters.
When should we expect to hear something on who’s playing Steve Rogers and the other characters in the WWII-based movie? Well, this major event in the Marvel comics coming up specifically relating to Captain America is the obvious choice and it makes perfect sense with the timing of the issue releases, with Independence day in the U.S. and shortly after the major announcements were made for Thor.
We’ve heard very little about this project so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear something major revolving around the Captain America film either this week, in the first week of July (when Reborn #1 hits shelves) or at the very latest, at San Diego Comic Con next month, exactly two years prior to the scheduled release of the film. Marvel will no doubt have a massive presence at SDCC and they’ll use it to hype all of their upcoming films, starting with Iron Man 2 which we know will be talked about at a panel with director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr.
In related news, Marvel’s president of production, Kevin Feige, basically confirmed that Bucky Barnes will be featured in the Captain America movie, which is planned to be set entirely (or mostly) in WWII. With Marvel hopeful to increase the production of their films to four per year in the not too distant future, could Bucky get a spinoff film?
If you’re following the comics or at least are interested, here’s the Marvel trailer for Captain America: Reborn:
What do you think about all of this and who would you like to see cast into the film?
And don’t forget to check out Marvel’s new movie logos for the four upcoming films!
The First Avenger: Captain America is directed by Joe Johnston and will hit theaters July 22, 2011.
Sources: Bleeding Cool, First Showing